The Safronov family in a happier time (l-r): NATALIA, VADIM, ANDREW (with baby LEONID on Vadim’s lap).
In a day and age when the notion of what defines a “community” is constantly evolving, especially with the advent of the internet, from time to time we are contacted by individuals who have a story to tell – yet they are not a part of the Jewish “community”, per se.


Recently we were contacted on Facebook with an appeal to help someone by the name of Vadim Safronov. Vadim, who is 48, is a part of the very large number of individuals who have immigrated to Manitoba in recent years whose first language is Russian. Although not Jewish himself, many of Vadim’s friends on Facebook are Jewish – who happen to be Russian-speaking.
Vadim came to Winnipeg in 2013 from Belarus along with his wife Natalia and son Andrew. (Since then another son, Leonid, was born in 2015.)
Vadim, who had been a carpenter in Belarus, first found work with BerMax Design Ltd., working for the Berent family (which owns BerMax Caffé). Later, Vadim was self-employed as a tile installer, and most recently he was working for a roofing company in the production side of things.
Tragically this past June, however, it was discovered that Vadim had colon cancer. He has undergone surgery twice as well as chemotherapy. Unfortunately, he had no health benefits from his job with the roofing company and his employment insurance benefits, which paid him 55% of his salary, will run out in January. At that point all that he will be eligible to receive will be a monthly Canada Pension disability payment of a maximum of $560.
Vadim says that his chemotherapy treatment will continue through June. As one might expect, Vadim and his family now have some major expenses, including payments on a house and car. While Natalia does work (at Costco on St. James) and son Andrew works part time at a Subway while still attending high school, they cannot possibly pay all their bills come January.
Recently friends of Vadim undertook a Facebook campaign to help the Safronov family out. The goal was to raise $10,000 and, as of the time of writing, almost $9,000 has been raised. But – every little bit helps. Over 117 individuals have donated to Vadim’s campaign, including many members of Winnipeg’s Russian-Israeli community. If you would like to help Vadim out, you can do so by sending an etransfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..